By Alex Byington, Montgomery Advertiser:
Coming out of its first bye in Week 9 of the season, Alabama will undoubtedly be rested and recharged entering its late-season matchup with rival LSU. While not traditional rivals like Auburn or Tennessee, the annual matchup with LSU has taken on an intensity all its own since Nick Saban returned to college football at Alabama following an impressive run in Baton Rouge. But, at least of late, it’s been a little one-sided in the Tide’s favor.
By Christopher Walsh, Bleacher Report:
When it comes to preseason polls and season expectations, there’s essentially only one thing Nick Saban hopes for, and that is for his team to control its own destiny. Thursday morning, when the preseason Amway Coaches Poll was released, he got what he wanted: No. 3. Alabama is still easily within striking distance without having to carry the burden of being No. 1. No one knows better what a heavy burden that can be. This is the first time since 2009 that Alabama is not first or second in the preseason coaches poll, snapping an incredible five-year run but extending its streak of top-five preseason rankings to seven years.
By Mark Inabinett, al.com:
Nick Saban is a 63-year-old football coach with four BCS national championships in 19 seasons guiding college teams. Jason Garrett is a 49-year-old football coach with one playoff victory in four seasons guiding NFL teams. But the coaches aren’t so different, according to Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Rolando McClain. McClain played for Saban in the first three seasons of the coach’s tenure at Alabama. McClain joined Garrett with the Cowboys last season.
The University of Alabama football team’s annual Fan Day is set for Sunday, August 9. The Crimson Tide will hold an open practice in Bryant-Denny Stadium from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Players and coaches will be available for autographs immediately after the practice on the field at approximately 4:45 p.m. Fans may enter the stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. through gates 12 & 16 and occupy the lower bowl (sections A-N). The open practice, which is slated to start at 2:30 p.m., is scheduled to last approximately two hours. For security purposes, all items are subject to inspection as fans enter the stadium for both the practice and Fan Day activities. Children attending can sign up for the Big Al’s Kids Club and all fans can register for the Crimson Tide Rewards program outside the East side of the stadium at gate 45 beginning at 1:30 p.m.
By Charlie Potter, 247sports.com:
BamaOnLine is counting down the top-25 most important Alabama players to the team’s success ahead of the 2015 football season, and up next is senior inside linebacker Reggie Ragland at No. 2. Ragland is entering his fourth and final season at Alabama and will be one of the leaders on the Crimson Tide’s defense in 2015. After a productive junior campaign a year ago as the team’s starting Will linebacker, Ragland will look to progress even further after deciding to turn down a shot at the NFL to come back for his senior year.
From Roll Bama Roll:
Last week, I analyzed why Nick Saban’s Alabama teams have been so good at stopping the run over the years. By combining elite talent with the country’s finest development program, the Crimson Tide have annually been one of the best run-stopping units in college football. With the players that Alabama has coming back in 2015, the Tide’s run-stuffers could become one of the all-time greatest units in history. However, in order to be able to make that claim, the team can’t have another performance like the egg they laid against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl in January.
By Matt Hladik, College Spun:
Nick Saban’s name has been linked to the Texas job in the past, when the Mack Brown era came to a close in Austin. According to the Alabama head coach, his interest in the position was non-existent, despite what rumors may have indicated. D.C Reeves of The Tuscaloosa News has the details on Saban telling boosters at an event in Florida last night that he never was and “never will be” interested in coaching the Longhorns.
By Michael Casagrande, al.com:
The neutral-site season-opening trend will continue for Alabama. The Crimson Tide will start the 2018 season in a new place under a familiar format, according to ESPN. The network is reporting Alabama will face Louisville on Sept. 1, 2018 in the renovated Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
From The Crimson White:
For the last eight years, Nick Saban has been the face of Alabama football. His sideline antics and press appearances have earned him a very distinct reputation in the college football world, but Forbes magazine’s Monte Burke paints a different picture of the coach in his book Saban: The Making of a Coach. The Crimson White spoke with Burke to learn more about the making of his book and the making of the man that has become an Alabama icon.